== Offense wakes up, finds itself in midst of epic pitching meltdown, hits snooze button, goes back to sleep ==
Has a team ever had a starting rotation more shredded?
The only remaining healthy and relatively plausible in-house candidate left for starts — Erasmo Ramirez — had his third consecutive ugly game (2.0 IP, 5 ER), and it doesn’t seem likely that the team will hand him the ball again soon.
I guess we’ve settled the issue of whether Lloyd McClendon was too harsh when he said e-RAM was “not a No. 2 starter.” At the moment, he’s not a No. 3, 4 or 5 (or 6, 7 or 8 either).
Which is a bummer since Erasmo has always been a favorite, and he’s still on track to become the third-greatest Nicaraguan pitcher of all time (FWIW). Maybe he can recapture the magic somehow.
As you may know, I did a series of “Depth Chart” posts over the winter (called the “rickroll” because commenter rick82 suggested them).
The one for starting pitchers never even had the outside options (Scott Baker, Randy Wolf, Chris Young) on it, but as you can see, the Mariners are already considering the No. 13 option — Stephen Landazuri.
Numbers 2, 3, 4, 7, 9 and 12 are all injured. No. 5 (Erasmo) ineffective. No. 8 (Hector Noesi) sent as an unsuspecting mole to Texas. No. 11 Anthony Fernandez hasn’t been making progress and gave up 6 ER in his last start.
Which brings up No. 13 Landazuri. As I said in my comment, he’s always been a “sleeper” favorite of mine. He’s always pitched above his age level with success.
If he can keep his head, maybe he could make the jump after just three AA starts, but that’s a tall order for anyone.
Or … Dominic Leone was a starter in college and has gone 2.0 IP his last three outings, including outings of 34 and 44 pitches. He said in a recent article he wouldn’t mind starting but relieving “just worked out that way” or something to that effect. Maybe they could squeeze 4 or 5 IP out of him.
Tom Wilhelmsen has been a starter, too, of course, but he hasn’t thrown more than 1.1 IP or 23 pitches this year.
As for guys they might pull off the scrap heap: Freddy Garcia remains unsigned and John Lannan is about to be let go by the Mets. Would they be better than the in-house options? Doubtful. But they’d be “safe” picks compared to a bringing up an untested non-phenom from AA.
Oh, yeah, offense.
It was very good in the 3rd inning, and then it stopped being very good again.
In the meantime, however, Robinson Cano got his first Mariner home run, Corey Hart followed with one of his own (video link), and the M’s rallied to a very improbable 6-4 lead. Alas, it didn’t last long.
- Of course, the lead prospect item is the bad news that our man Ji-Man Choi was suspended for 50 games due to testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. He denied taking anything, but they all do that at first. I’ll have to think about how much that drops his stock, but it certainly doesn’t help. The small bright spot is that Choi won’t count against the 40-man roster while suspended, so it will open up a spot for a pitcher who is not currently on it. Such as …
- Landazuri, who (unlike Anthony Fernandez yesterday) got results that caught everyone’s eye: 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K. Allowing just two baserunners in six innings will do that.
- Indeed, Landazuri was so good that he got more notice than …
Jabari Blash now hitting .261/.435/.543 with 13 walks and 11 strikeouts. Maybe Blash will go to Tacoma to take Choi’s spot. That would be good to see.
- The Generals lost the nightcap despite a double and two singles from Ketel Marte.
- And then there was Patrick Kivlehan in High Desert, getting his 4th and 5th home runs of the young season, plus a single. In the desert, the Kivle-fans are crushing the Kivle-skeptics. Tyler Olson also pitched 5.0 IP scoreless.
- Clinton got big assists from emerging players The Tank Tyler O’Neill (3rd HR of the year) and Emilio Pagan (2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K).